Authorities in Macau are easing Covid-related measures as they have announced that from Wednesday December 14th, individuals who get a positive Covid test may isolate at home instead of at specified controlled lodging locations.
Officials from the Health Bureau held a press conference informing citizens that Macau is entering a “transitional phase” where the need to scan a QR code when entering most venues is removed. Individuals will only be required to show their Health Code when entering government departments, hospitals, social services and non-higher education schools.
Health Bureau Director Alvis Lo said that from Wednesday 14 December, Macau will enter the second period of pandemic prevention whereby people who test positive can isolate at home. The government will launch an electronic assessment system which people can use to assess their status. “The electronic assessment system will be based on factors such as whether the infected person has been vaccinated, their symptoms and any underlying health issues they have,” Lo said.
The government will introduce guidelines for infected people or close contacts to go out.Alvis Lo, Macau’s Health Bureau Director
The assessment status will be divided into four levels. Green is the lowest level, offering people the possibility to isolate at home; yellow requires an appointment at a community clinic; orange an assessment at a community treatment center; and red an ambulance for hospital treatment.
Lo went on to say that those who test positive will be permitted to go out for necessities but must follow some basic guidelines such as wearing a face mask and refraining from eating at the same table as others in restaurants. “If many people in Macau are infected, and they are not allowed to go out, it will have a great effect on the business and commercial sector, so the government will introduce guidelines for infected people or close contacts to go out.”
Earlier this month, Macau announced an easing of quarantine rules for overseas arrivals, to five days of hotel quarantine plus three days of home isolation, as reported by Reuters. Macau also stopped the routine testing of visitors from China; it is no longer locking down entire buildings when a confirmed case is discovered.
“If Macau adapts to coexist with the virus, we will enter the third stage and all social operations will be opened normally,” Lo said. “Right now Macau is about to enter the second stage.”
According to Reuters, Macau has retained an open border with the neighboring Chinese city of Zhuhai throughout the pandemic. The movement of people has, however, been constrained by requirements for permits and testing. Several work and live on both sides of the border. With a population of more than 600,000 people, Macau has recorded just over 900 Covid cases since 2020 and six deaths.
The Macau government’s pandemic prevention policy follows that of the mainland China. Authorities in Beijing have also announced a relaxation of its pandemic prevention policy.